Satan has been cut from the upcoming movie “Son of God” because the actor closely resembles President Barack Obama.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Christian producers and husband-and-wife team Mark Burnett and Roma Downey decided to cut the scenes involving the devil to avoid politically charged criticism that could undermine the film’s main focus on the life of Jesus.
“It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor. This is now a movie about Jesus, the son of God, and the devil gets no more screen time,” Downey told the Reporter.
The film is due to be released on Feb. 28. It is based on last year’s popular television miniseries the two produced called “The Bible,” which featured actor Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni as Satan.
After the miniseries debuted, commentators on social media noted the similarities between the president and Satan in the program, and side-by-side photos went viral.
Burnett and Downey issued statements at the time supporting the president and slamming those that made the connection between Obama and Satan, according to the Reporter.
“Someone made a comment that the actor who played the devil vaguely resembled our president, and suddenly the media went nuts,” Downey said, according to the Reporter. “The next day, when I was sure everyone would only be talking about Jesus, they were talking about Satan instead.”
She added, “For our movie, ‘Son of God,’ I wanted all of the focus to be on Jesus. I want his name to be on the lips of everyone who sees this movie, so we cast Satan out.”